Big news, or rather rumors, have been coming out of both the Microsoft and Google camps in the past several days, but Microsoft has beaten Google to the punch by announcing some big updates to SkyDrive earlier today.
Windows SkyDrive Desktop App
Microsoft’s SkyDrive Desktop Application for Windows and Mac has just launched. If you head over to their website you’ll see a fancy new video explaining the fact that SkyDrive offers syncing, sharing, and collaboration features all in one easy-to-maintain space. And now they have a desktop app that is extremely similar to Dropbox.
If you were a SkyDrive user and you actually used your account before last Sunday you’re being given the option to upgrade to 25GB of FREE space (no folks, it’s not a typo). Literally, all you have to do is click on your newly installed SkyDrive folder, select “Manage Storage” and you’ll be taken to an online page that will let you know that, for a limited time, you can upgrade to 25GB for FREE. In case you’re wondering, yes, I have already done it. All it takes is one click and you’re done.
Unfortunately, not everybody went to a university that automatically signed them up for a Windows Live ID including SkyDrive (like I did); and of those people about 90% probably never used it. So don’t feel bad if you’re part of the majority who are just now learning about SkyDrive. New customers still get 7GB for free (5 more than Dropbox and 2 more than what is rumored for Google Drive), all of which can be used for synching.
If you would like to pay for the service, new users can add 25 GB, 50 GB or 100 GB of space for $10, $25 and $50 per year, respectively. Again, that’s a helluva lot cheaper than Dropbox. And, finally, adding the cherry on top of the cloud storage sundae, the maximum file size upload-able on SkyDrive has been increased from the sadly inadequate 100MB all the way to 2GB.
Google Drive Updates
Switching over to Google news, a few updates warrant mentioning from the search/soon-to-take-over-the-world behemoth.
The first update involves Google Docs and offers further confirmation that Google Drive will be launching very soon indeed. Apparently the service has just recently upped the offered storage space to 5GB, lending credence to rumors that a release is imminent. At the present moment (meaning right after I typed moment) drive.google.com still takes one to an error page; however, the release date is rumored to be today. If that does happen there will be an update added to the end of this post as soon as news reaches us.
The second and final rumor comes via Reuters, which is reporting that while Google will indeed offer 5GB for free (again, 2GB short of SkyDrive but 3GB better than Dropbox) there will also be optional incremental upgrades to a maximum of 100GB for a monthly fee. Knowing Google the price shouldn’t be too bad.
Like we said: big news from both camps today. Now all you have to do is sign up for some free SkyDrive, sit back, and keep checking back with us for updates on the Google Drive release.
Update: Google Drive has now officially launched at drive.google.com. Stick around for a first hands-on review coming from Mauricio
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